Hassan Whiteside went nutso, Kobe Bryant sat out another game and the Hawks rolled the Wizards, and have only lost three games since falling to the hapless Lakers way back on Nov. 18. Dose breaks it all down and you should follow me on Twitter by clicking here.
Games Played Week 12
4 Games: ATL, BRK, CHI, DET, GSW, HOU, NOP, ORL, PHI, SAS, TOR, WAS
3 Games: BOS, CLE, DAL, DEN, IND, LAC, LAL, MEM, MIA, MIN, OKC, POR, SAC, UTA
2 Games: CHA, PHX
1 Game: MIL, NYK
Editor's Note: Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $200,000 Fantasy Basketball league for Monday's NBA games. It's $25 to join and first prize is $20,000. Starts at 7:30pm ET on Monday. Here's the FanDuel link.
Heat 104, Clippers 90
The Heat surprised the Clippers on Sunday afternoon, led by Hassan Whiteside’s career night that featured 23 points, 16 rebounds, two steals and two blocks on 10-of-13 shooting. He said later that he has a chip on his shoulder after being passed up by most of the league, including the Clippers. I featured him in Waiver Wired this week and he came through within 24 hours of when I posted him on the cover of the column. Go get him, especially considering he started the second half over Chris Andersen. His points and boards were career highs, but there’s no reason he shouldn’t at least continue to board and block shots with abandon. Holy breakout, Batman! Chris Bosh scored 34 and Dwyane Wade added 17 points and 10 assists in the win. Mario Chalmers was in foul trouble and pretty awful, while Norris Cole tried to pick up his slack with five points, five rebounds and six assists in the win.
DeAndre Jordan had a streak of three straight double-doubles snapped and had just four points and six rebounds in the loss. He’s fine, so don’t panic on DJ. He got ‘Whitesided’ today, as far as I could tell. Maybe Whiteside’s nickname should be “The Blindside,” as he didn't just surprise the Clippers, but caught unsuspecting fantasy owners off guard as well over the last week. Blake Griffin had 26 points and six boards, Chris Paul added 23 points, nine dimes and three 3-pointers, and J.J. Redick added 14 points and two 3-pointers. Matt Barnes cooled off, but still had eight points, three boards, an assist, a steal, a block and two 3-poitners.
Hawks 120, Wizards 89
How about my Hawks? They waxed the Wizards 120-89 for their eighth straight win, and they’ve now lost just three games since falling to the Lakers (I know, right?) back on Nov. 18. They trail only the Warriors and Blazers in winning percentage this season, but have lost just one more game than the Blazers and are even in the win column with the Warriors at 29. All five starters scored in double figures, led by Jeff Teague and his 11 points, 10 assists, four steals and zero turnovers, while Kyle Korver had 19 points and five 3-pointers, DeMarre Carroll came through with 16 points, four steals and two 3-pointers, Al Horford had 15 points and two blocks, and Paul Millsap added 11 points in an off night. Mike Scott, Pero Antic and Dennis Schroder all hit double figures in scoring off the bench, but the guys you want in your lineup here are Teague, Millsap, Horford and Korver, while Carroll is also worth a look in most leagues. Hats off to Mike Budenholzer and his system, and here’s to hoping he can keep the train rolling. And hats off to Teague, who will not win his second straight Player of the Week award only because Kemba Walker went absolutely bonkers for the Hornets last week.
The Wizards saw all five starters score in double figures, but John Wall’s 15 points led the team. There were no double-doubles to speak of and only Kevin Seraphin did anything off the bench, finishing with 13 points, six boards and three blocks. In short, the Wizards got an Eastern Conference wakeup call in this one.
Grizzlies 122, Suns 110 2 OT
This was a double-overtime thriller and the Grizzlies are happy to finally see Zach Randolph back and in full effect. He had a season-high 27 points, 17 rebounds and two blocks in just his second game back after missing nine games with a sore knee. Mike Conley tried to keep pace with Teague and Walker, and added 25 points, seven boards and eight assists, but he and Randolph both committed seven turnovers on the night. Courtney Lee busted loose for 18 points and two 3-pointers, but is pretty unreliable from night to night, and Tony Allen filled the stat sheet again, making him worth a look in deeper leagues. Bigger stat lines would have been nice, considering this game featured two extra frames.
The Suns’ Goran Dragic was in foul trouble all night, which allowed Isaiah Thomas to get loose for 20 points and two threes off the bench. He hit just 7-of-16 shots and committed seven turnovers, but he could be ready to get hot again, which would hurt Dragic. Dragic hit just 4-of-11 shots for nine points and three assists, but I’m guessing he bounces back in the next one. Markieff Morris led the starters with 17 points, six boards, three steals, a block and a 3-pointer, after hitting just 1-of-11 shots on Friday. Alex Len came through with 14 points, 13 rebounds, a steal and a block, and as tempting as it might be to drop him for The Blindside, you have to find another player to cut. Marcus Morris just missed a double-double with 11 points and nine boards off the bench, and came through if you used him in daily leagues. Eric Bledsoe was also quiet with 11 points on 5-of-16 shooting, but I’m far from worried about him. Brandan Wright made his Suns’ debut and had seven points and two rebounds in 15 minutes, and as long as Len is starting, Wright can be ignored.
Kings 103, Cavaliers 84
DeMarcus Cousins stayed hot and torched the Cavs for 26 points, 13 rebounds, five assists, four steals and three blocks on 11-of-23 shooting. He’s ticked off and taking names and numbers right now, so look out. Rudy Gay scored 23 on 9-of-14 shooting, which was great to see, and Darren Collison came through with 16 points, six dimes and two 3-pointers in the easy win. Jason Thompson started and had seven points and 10 boards, but this was his first double-digit rebounding game in a month, so don’t get too excited.
The Cavaliers are not-so-patiently awaiting the return of LeBron James, but there is light at the end of the tunnel, as it sounds like he’s going to play on Tuesday after taking some time off to nurse a sore back and knee. Watch for updates on Monday. Kevin Love double-doubled with 25 points, 10 boards, a steal, a block and three 3-pointers, but will probably take a hit once LeBron is back. Timofey Mozgov had 14 points, 12 rebounds and two blocks, and once again, I’ll point out that David Blatt LOVES him (Sorry, Mike Gallagher). Therefore, he should be owned until further notice. Kyrie Irving had a solid line, but outside of those three players, the Cavs, including J.R. Smith, were a mess. Smith had 27 points on Friday, but hit just 2-of-10 shots for four points on Sunday. Yes, this is how he rolls. Sadly for some of us, Tristan Thompson’s run is officially over. He came off the bench and had six points and three boards in 23 minutes, and if you want to drop him for Whiteside, I’m all in.
Blazers 106, Lakers 94
This game was closer than the final score, but Damian Lillard took over late and closed the door on the Kobe-less Lakers. Lillard finished with 34 points, seven assists and four 3-pointers on 13-of-23 shooting, and if he had a back injury, you certainly couldn’t tell by watching him. Wesley Matthews scored 16 with three more 3-pointers, LaMarcus Aldridge had 15 points and nine boards, and Nicolas Batum flirted with a triple-double with 11 points, nine boards, six dimes and a 3-pointer. Chris Kaman just missed a double-double with nine points, 12 boards and two steals, and Meyers Leonard added 10 points, four boards and a 3-pointer off the bench. They’re getting healthy again and lead the league in wins with 30 of them.
Meanwhile, the Lakers sit at 12 wins on the season and we’re finally starting to hear some official chatter about Kobe Bryant possibly being shut down for the season at some point. Usually, that noise is only coming from yours truly, and I get yelled at when it happens. But coach Byron Scott said after the game that the Lakers will revisit that topic after the All-Star break. If Kobe wasn’t still chasing records, I’d put him in the same category as Carmelo Anthony. But they’re different players and Kobe won’t go down quietly. However, as poorly as his team is playing, I bet he shuts it down before the fantasy playoffs arrive, so you should try to trade him before it's too late. He didn’t play in this one, but my guess is he’ll play on non back-to-back nights, at least until All-Star Weekend in February.
Wes Johnson is back from his hip injury and led the Lakers in scoring with 17 points, four rebounds, three assists and three 3-pointers on 7-of-14 shooting, and it’s time to pick him up if he was dropped in your league. Jordan Hill came through with 14 points, five rebounds and three blocks, and Wayne Ellington added 10 points and two 3-pointers in another start for Kobe. Ronnie Price had a season-high with 12 assists, but added just eight points on 2-of-7 shooting, which stifled Jeremy Lin (3-of-9 shooting for nine points and three dimes in just 19 minutes). Ed Davis struggled in another start with three points and eight boards in 27 minutes, and his 1-of-4 shooting was largely to blame. Carlos Boozer just missed another double-double with 13 points and nine boards off the bench, and might be a better player to own than Davis right now, although his lack of shot blocking is a major buzzkill. Nick Young saw just 18 minutes and hit 3-of-11 shots (1-of-8 from downtown) for nine points, and continues to be mired in a slump. With or without Kobe, he’s just not getting it done right now.
We’ve got a four-game night on Monday, and we’ll have to see if Brook Lopez or Mason Plumlee starts for the Nets, and whether Derrick Rose will play against the Magic. Rose sat out on Saturday with a sore knee and it sounds like he could be shut down for some games. We should have an update on Monday afternoon, so keep your eye on the Rotoworld News Page. If Rose is shut down, Aaron Brooks will become a hot pickup and daily play.
Tobias Harris is another guy to keep an eye on, as he missed Saturday’s Magic game with an ankle injury, and teammate Evan Fournier is in the same boat after missing that game with a knee injury. Elfrid Payton could have a decent week given his teammate’s injuries. Deron Williams should be out with a cracked rib, meaning more goodies for Net’s starting point guard Jarrett Jack, and DeMar DeRozan is not expected back any time soon for the Raptors, as he continues to recover from a groin injury. Kyle Lowry should continue in beast mode as long as DD is out.